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Pathology Leader Buys NZ Diagnostics Group

18 December 2007

News Release

Pathology Leader Buys New Zealand Diagnostics Group Limited

Leading international pathology company, Healthscope Limited has today announced it has made a further investment in its New Zealand operations through acquiring 100% of the shares in New Zealand Diagnostics Group Limited, mostly trading under the brand name Southern Community Laboratories (SCL) in the North and South Islands.

The NZDG group runs 11 pathology laboratories around the country and two small boutique radiology businesses. NZDG is the second largest private pathology provider in New Zealand with annual revenue of approximately NZ$47 million.

Healthscope is the third largest pathology company in Australia. It is also the leading community pathology provider in Malaysia and Singapore. In New Zealand it owns Northland Pathology Laboratory Limited, which provides community pathology services to the Northland region.

Announcing the deal today, Healthscope Managing Director, Bruce Dixon said Healthscope is pleased to cement its position in the New Zealand market with the acquisition. “The NZDG acquisition provides a further opportunity to establish Healthscope as a significant player in the New Zealand pathology market.”

Mr Dixon said Southern Community Laboratories has long-term contracts to provide community and hospital pathology to the Otago-Southland, Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay and Lakes District Health Boards and these would be unaffected by the ownership change.

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Mr Dixon said NZDG is a leader in its field employing over 500 staff including 19 pathologists and five registrars with expertise in all disciplines of Pathology.

NZDG is the second largest provider of cytopathology services and a major private provider of hospital pathology services in New Zealand. NZDG’s radiology businesses in Christchurch provide limited radiology services within two large separate private health clinics.

“For NZDG’s staff, clients and operations it’s business as usual. What Healthscope will bring is a commitment to ongoing investment, significant international experience in community pathology and the opportunity for NZDG staff to draw on the resources and professional expertise within Healthscope’s existing operations,” he said.

Southern Community Laboratories are located in: Hastings, Christchurch, Ashburton, Dunedin, Gore, Balclutha, Dunstan, Queenstown, Oamaru, Taupo and Invercargill.

“The acquisition of NZDG is part of Healthscope’s long-term commitment to ongoing investment in further opportunities in the New Zealand healthcare market,” Bruce Dixon said.

About Healthscope:

Healthscope, headquartered in Melbourne, was formed in 1985 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1994. It is Australia’s second largest private hospital operator with 45 private hospitals and over 4,000 beds in every State and territory in Australia.

Healthscope’s pathology business was originally established in 1936. It has grown to become Australia’s third largest pathology provider, employing 70 pathologists at 46 accredited laboratories that process over 3 million patient episodes each year.

The company has market leading community pathology operations in Malaysia and Singapore. In New Zealand it runs Northland Pathology Laboratory Limited providing community pathology services to the Northland region. Healthscope has also taken 100% ownership of Labtests and is currently appealing a High Court decision to reinstate Labtests contract to provide community pathology services to the Auckland region.

Healthscope has a market capitalisation of AUD $1.4 billion with annual revenue of AUD $1.3 billion. Its global operations employ 18,000 staff.


ENDS

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